My Initial Reactions: Charlottesville, VA
The Car Incident
I want to start by saying this is a very emotional piece for me that I wrote on Aug 17, 2017.
According to Aljazeera, at 1:42 PM on August 12 a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting against a group of white supremacists. I don't remember what I was doing when I even found out this occurred, but I remember my reaction. It was the same reaction I had up until today, August 17, at around 1 PM. "Man, that's crazy!" You see I had only heard about what had happened and seen pictures from here to there on Facebook and YouTube. I heard the jokes about the irony that white supremacists were marching with tiki torches. I also talked about how annoying it was that they were screaming "White Power!" when at any moment WW III could begin because of North Korea's president and Donald Trump's diplomacy tactics. However, I had made a conscious decision to not watch any media that showed the video, so I was sort of speaking out of turn. I just didn't want to watch what happened! I already knew it was bad! I thought I didn't need to watch it to deem it wrong or stupid, but I don't know if that was the best decision. Today I got a glimpse of what happened that Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville and it just broke me.
Initially I saw it and I gasped and covered my mouth in shock. The car sped into the crowd with such ferocity and backed up into people the same. Even as I revisit the video in my head I silently hyperventilate and hold back tears. I didn't even cry when I first saw the video. The pain didn't even register with me at first. So what did register you ask? Anger. Actually FULL-FLEDGED anger and frustration. Anger that racism even exists. Anger that it took for a man to run over a crowd of people for EVERYONE to join in anger. Anger that I don't know whether white people got angry over a white girl being killed or whether they are over it all just like I am. Frustration over the fact that I have to question the intentions of someone just because they are white because white privilege comes at the detriment of black people and is inherent whether a white person wants it to be or not. I could go on and on, but if you have not lived the black experience you would never fully understand that anger and frustration.
* deep breath in and out *
I wish the pain stopped there, but nothing could prepare me for the hurt that comes when you acknowledge that you have no understanding of why you are hated so much. And as I listened to my YouTube playlist the song "Come Back Home to Me" by the cast of Star I broke. Tears flooded my eyes just like they do now. I remember these tears. They're the same tears I cried when I acknowledged just how tiring it is to be black. I cry because I don't know what to do. I feel hopeless against defeating racism. It's exhausting fighting against your own oppression. It's exhausting fighting against rage. I appreciate everyone's statuses against racism that aren't black, but there's a part of me that cries because this is still happening.
It's my understanding that when 9/11 occurred the world stopped, but anytime an attack happens to a minority race group the same reservation is not provided. I just shake my head because how do I best explain how offended I am to a United States society that never even properly apologized for the enslavement of my people?
None the less, rest in peace to Heather Heyer, whose life was taken from her during this attack. This moment should have never happened.